I thought this might be too technical for me but I love messing around with my computer so took the plunge. It's the best unsolved "whodunnit" ever. I could NOT put the book down. Talk about gripping your seat and holding your breath...and to think that 'thing' is still out there ready to pounce.
The story is great, and the narration is perfect. I even chuckled from time to time. This will appeal to people at all levels of technical expertise and all age groups. I am 75 years old and loved it.
We all have computers and we have all had malware, which I have never understood. This story concerns a worm/ virus/ or whatever that panicked everyone, but came to very little harm in the end.
There were huge efforts to sort it out without particular success. Actually, I still don't understand this stuff and the worm malware certainly vexed the people who do understand it - so I suppose we are all in for a very big kicking in the future.... we will just have to wait and see.
A bit depressing at the end of the day!
It started off good, and went down hill from there.
If you like a lecture on the terms and history of the internet great. It was like listening to someone read a dictionary of computer terms.
Another lively and well-paced foray into the darker side of the cyber world. Bowden (most famous for penning Black Hawk Down) tackles the story of the insidious Conficker worm. He constructs the story through the main players, a self-named Cabal of those involved in computer security (your proverbial white hats) who noticed, investigated, dissected, and then struggled to combat the elegantly designed program. Bowden ably parses the technology and finds the excitement and pressure in the struggle to stay ahead of updated versions of the worm. Most interestingly, the creator (or creators) were never identified and the worm remains active (largely through the apathy or ignorance of computer users who fail to update their computers). The book ends with a few of the main players making their best guesses about its origin and purpose, most alarmingly that it is something of a weapon system at the ready should it ever be called into use. A reminder that the wonders of technology and our interconnected lives are likewise quite vulnerable to attack.
great narration. story about heroes who don't think they're heroes. the book depicts the worm as a true crouching tiger, capable of much havoc... yet nothing has materialized.... yet? hence the anti climax. the cyber world is fascinating. If you know nothing about it, get smart quick. You're probably reading this on a smartphone, after all. good book. recommended.
This is not the best book I've ever read, but nor is it the worst. It was slow enough with the techno-speak that I kept up with it easily (as a somewhat layman) but it struck me as a little overly generous with the metaphors used in explanations.
An interesting story, meticulously researched, and told in about as compelling a way as I think could be accomplished. I was never vibrating out of my seat in excitement but I brought it up a few times over coffee with friends as I was reading it, as it did occupy my imagination at least a little bit.
On the whole, my verdict is a lukewarm 'go for it.'
This is a great high level review of the malware history leading up to konfiker worm and the sorry and drama around trying to shut it down. It contains enough technical details to convince IT and security savvy readers, while staying hi level enough not to lose anyone with some interest in this story.
I'm only modestly aware of cybersecurity issues, but I know enough to be very impressed with how Bowden was able to make very arcane matters make sense. A must- read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the cyberthreats we all face today.
Fascinating account of how such a simple thing, report for 45 buffer overflow, could have such far impact. Even more true now given how "connected" our world and systems are.